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Nov 1, 2012 6:00am EDT
will not willfully step aside as we saw in tunisia, egypt and even in yemen. and i would argue probably is not amenable to any sort of negotiated solution. the second constant is that the opposition has been perpetually divided, fragmented, unable to coalesce around a unifying vision of a post-assad syria. we've seen divisions among the external opposition, we've seen divisions inside syria, we've seen divisions among the arms groups, divisions based on ideology, divisions based on patrons and so forth. and the third factor is that the international community has remained at a stalemate, has been unable to reach a consensus on how to move forward in syria. we've seen three security council vetoes by russia and china causing many to call the u.n., essentially, ineffective in this crisis. so it's been the interplay of these three factors, i would argue, that has led syria down the path that it has taken. in terms of u.s. policy, u.s. policy is based on the objective of having assad, as president obama called for, step aside. this was back in august of 2011. the problem with u.s. policy is
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